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Systematic Reviews

Information on how to conduct systematic reviews in psychology and the health sciences

Systematic Review Process

Here is a more detailed description of the systematic review process.  Note the iterative nature of the process (arrows on the left).  Step 14 refers only to meta-analyses.

Systematic review process-detailed

Tsafnet, G., Glasziou, P., Choong, M.K., et al. Systematic review automation technologies. Systematic Reviews 2014; 3:74;


Bias: "a systematic error, or deviation from the truth, in results or inference" (Cochrane Handbook, ch. 8)


Types of bias include:

  • Publication, time lag, or multiple publication bias
  • Location bias
  • Citation bias
  • Language bias
  • Outcome reporting bias.

For more details on bias and how to prevent it, see: Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (2008,Chapter 8Chapter 10, table 10.1.a)

For guidance on assessing study types, see the assessment templates from the NIH's National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute forms.